The Cadence: WTF are NFTs!? (4 Part MasterClass)
by Joshua Glazer & Chris Monaco
Illustration by David J. Weissberg
If we all became amateur virologists in 2020, it now appears that expertise in complex financial instruments is required to survive 2021.
And while Gamestop stonks had some grounding in the traditional world of Wall Street economics, the sudden deluge of NFT news with its novel concepts of value and ownership can feel like you need a philosophy major to go along with your economic degree.
But with digital albums suddenly selling for theoretical millions, it’s time to start paying attention. That’s why this week’s Cadence offers up a list of primer links, each with various levels of difficulty, to start understanding what’s happening with NFTs right now, and where this train might ultimately be heading.
After our outstanding Daft Punk talk on Clubhouse last week, we’re going to hop back on in the coming days to dive deep into what NFTs mean for music. Look for an announcement in the coming days.
The most salient statements from recent industry articles.
This primer from the LP frontman frames NFTs as the next wave of collectible for fans. It’s probably how most artists and managers are thinking about the tech in the immediate term.
Takeaway: The average person has a really hard time wrapping their head around the idea that you can take something that you posted on Instagram, and then post the exact same thing on Zora and make $1,000.
NFT oracle WhaleShark.Pro dropped this thread of possible use cases to be explored by musicians and influencers.
Takeaway: A good balance between availability and scarcity encourages a healthy collector community.
3. You can now own “authenticated” digital artwork. Is that a good thing?
Marketplace looks at NFTs as the latest version of the art world’s historical obsession with authenticity.
Takeaway: Warhol was obsessed with the issue of authenticity and its absurdity. So he placed ads in the Village Voice, saying that he would sign any object that you brought to his studio and turn it into a Warhol just by having signed it.
On some Ph.D. shit.
4. Primacism: David Rudnick on the struggle for Primacy, type and poetry's unique value in an age of digital and physical conflict, and Percy Shelley's Mont Blanc
Mat Dryhurst and Holly Herndon’s Interdependence podcast has been talking Web 3.0 since the start of the pandemic. This 2 1/2 hour episode with designer David Rudnick goes deeeeep into the human motivations behind all this NFT madness.
Takeaway: The foundational architecture is now entirely complete for someone to be digital prime in the sense that it's no longer an imaginative realm for them. The mythic world exists there, but also the permanent value of that world also exists there.